Steven Soderbergh heading DGA committee

Steven Soderbergh heading DGA committee

Steven Soderbergh will head a special committee to address getting the movie industry back to work.

The 'Contagion' filmmaker will take the lead on the Directors Guild of America's (DGA) meetings to examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and figure out ways of helping members to revive their projects.

DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander explained to members that the committee's duties would see them "do a thorough examination of the issues at hand, and to make recommendations to the Board..

They added in a letter to members: "The committee is consulting with top epidemiologists in the field, and we will collaborate with our sister guilds and unions and the employers as we put together a comprehensive guide to help us all return safely to work.

"A major concern we're hearing most right now is about when we'll be returning to work, and how we can be certain that it's safe to do so.

"Rest assured, this is something we've been spending a great deal of time thinking about as well.

"While we don't have an answer as to when production will resume, we are taking steps to address how we can be safe when it does happen."

In addition, another national board committee had been appointed to help "preserve the communal theatrical experience".

The letter explained: "So that when it is safe to do so, your feature films intended to be seen on a big screen will have that opportunity.

"The committee, comprised of feature film directors, assistant directors and unit production managers, will begin working now to examine ways to promote that safe return to theatrical exhibition that's so important for our culture and our art. Simultaneous to our planning for tomorrow - we continue to act with tremendous urgency in the here and now to get members through today."

The message ended with a positive note that insisted the industry will never disappear.

It concluded: "As we all keep focused on today and tomorrow, we hope we can also find some comfort and solace in our yesterdays.

"Both in having the backing and foundation of a Guild that's over 80 years strong - and also in knowing that our work done up to this point is keeping people entertained and engaged, and possibly even lifting some spirits the world over. That need isn't going anywhere.

"And when the time is right, we will go back to work, return to set, and do what we love...tell stories."